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2014-08-03 at 16:51

Change the name?

By Matt Vis,
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THUNDER BAY -- The term ‘civic holiday’ lacks a certain aura of festivity.

“Civic Holiday means nothing to people,” city resident Darren Wright said Sunday. “It just means a day off. I think giving the day a name gives the day a purpose. It definitely needs a name.”

Our neighbours to the west agreed, as Manitoba this past week announced they would rename the day in honour of Canadian icon Terry Fox.

With Terry Fox concluding his Marathon of Hope just east of the city, many people believe the name should be adopted here as well.

Angele Dubois lived in Thunder Bay in the past and was re-visiting this weekend from the Northwest Territories. She said the Terry Fox Scenic Lookout is one of her favourite places in the city.

She is on board with putting his name on the day and believes it will help further his legacy.

“He’s an inspiration for a lot of Canadians and why not celebrate him instead of a civic holiday,” Dubois said.

“It would give more recognition to what he did and tried to do. I think it would definitely add to the holiday and put a story behind it.”

While Michael Leach acknowledged it is important to celebrate historical political figures such as first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald, he said selecting Fox would far less divisive.

The impacts made by Fox resonate a lot more with the current generations, said the Orangeville resident.

“As Canadians I don’t think we do enough to really celebrate our heroes and Terry Fox is a Canadian hero because of what has been accomplished in cancer research,” Leach said.

The holiday has also been given other names across the country, as it is known as Natal Day in Nova Scotia, Heritage Day in Alberta as well as Saskatchewan Day and British Columbia Day in those respective provinces.

Ontario has stood pat with the Civic Holiday name, as has Prince Edward Island, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

However, there are a few places in the province where the holiday has been given a name.

Torontonians celebrate Simcoe Day on the first Monday of August, recognizing John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant of Upper Canada.

Meanwhile, Col. By Day is celebrated in Ottawa to pay tribute to Lt.-Col. John By, who founded what would become the nation’s capital while he oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal.

There are at least a dozen other communities in Ontario that have gone ahead and renamed the day.

Wright said Thunder Bay should follow the lead of those communities and said Fox is a perfect candidate.

“I think the city should look at it and not just wait for the province,” Wright said.

“He’s an icon here.”

Leach agreed, saying the Terry Fox Scenic Lookout is well-known to many people in the southern areas of the province and an almost mandatory stop when driving through the area.

“This is an important stop in the history of Terry Fox, the (Marathon of Hope) and cancer research,” he said.

“When people talk about Thunder Bay, Terry Fox is one of the things they talk about when they talk about this area.”

Coun. Larry Hebert said he is fine with the civic holiday moniker though he would support renaming the day in honour of a historical figure.

He also had a couple suggestions of his own to pay homage to Ontario.

Hebert mentioned the possibilities of either Amethyst Day or Trillium Day, to recognize the provincial gemstone and flower.

Those two names would make the holiday unique to Ontario, he said.

An unscientific poll conducted by on Sunday showed more than 55 per cent of respondents by mid-afternoon would support the province should Ontario follow Manitoba’s lead.

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rocketship says:
Terry Fox is a national hero, and his life resonates with many...young & old.

I certainly think renaming this civic holiday 'Terry Fox Day', is much more impressive and apt than any other suggestions.
8/3/2014 5:50:15 PM
patti says:
Dear Mr Hebert ~ how about NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Hebert mentioned the possibilities of either Amethyst Day or Trillium Day, to recognize the provincial gemstone and flower
8/3/2014 8:18:34 PM
City In Decline says:
Turns out Patti is the epitome of the typical close-minded Thunder Bay'er. "I hate change" "Give me my Tim Hortons and my mediorcre life". Talk about being a scab on this city. Get a life, lady.
8/3/2014 11:03:36 PM
realist72 says:
How about not wasting any time/money/effort on something that's not going to add any value to anything.

Wah wah wah go the taxpayers; We should have the government spend a bunch of money changing stationary, legal documents, etc.

8/4/2014 5:49:01 AM
Joe-King says:
Terry Fox is the reason why hundreds of thousands of people are still living. His courageous efforts will NEVER be forgotten by us. You rarely come across true heroes in life besides your parents, but Terry is one for sure.
8/4/2014 7:33:12 AM
The Beaver..... says:
How about Dalton McGuinty Day that is a name on the mind off many and should never be forgotten
8/4/2014 8:33:45 AM
Lilac says:
While I commend Terry Fox for his contribution to cancer research, many other Canadians have done likewise. His trip ended near Thunder Bay, not really a positive note due to the circumstances. We have the statue and the highway name. Enough. He was BC resident. Can we not find either an Ontario reference or a Thunder Bay one (if it is the city's choice). Why do we always look OUTSIDE of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario, instead of looking inwards at the fantastic region in which we live and the many people/events/history that are located here. Maybe "Lake Superior Day" where we can celebrate a local place that has global significance. If all else fails, "Heritage Day" at least allows us to celebrate cultural heritage.
8/4/2014 1:28:22 PM
lake superior guy says:
There already is a "Lake Superior Day".
8/5/2014 1:51:55 AM
tbay87 says:
I think it's a great idea. Is anyone really going to miss or feel nostalgic over the name "Civic Holiday"? And Terry Fox - one of the most inspirational Canadians in history - seems like a great fit.
8/4/2014 5:43:22 PM
tsb says:
The Civic Holiday was intended for municipalities to give a purpose to. We don't need to name it after something for all of Ontario. Let's make it about our history.
8/4/2014 9:51:00 PM
peas08 says:
My only objection to naming this day Terry Fox day is that there is already a day within the school year when The Terry Fox walk/run takes place. Unless these runs coincide with the day it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.
8/5/2014 1:10:33 AM
rootbear says:
Civic holiday a day off? Most everything was open and many people were working...Monday was far from a traditional long weekend by a long shot. Maybe call it "Short Work" day or "I Get To Sleep In Before Work" day. Still gets me home by 5pm like normal.
8/5/2014 8:40:09 AM
ThunderBayOutsider says:
Lake Superior Day is the 3rd Sunday of July and is already a provincially recognized day (not a stat holiday tho). Still shaking my head at the "he didn't make it or he was outside Ontario comment" ... Terry Fox Day has my vote or something else of significance like Sleeping Giant Day
8/5/2014 9:14:39 AM
Dan dan says:
The poll question was ridiculous. This article is about changing the name of the Civic Holiday to something like "Terry Fox day".

The poll question asked if we wanted to change the name to "Terry Fox Long Weekend" which is completely ludicrous.
8/5/2014 12:25:55 PM
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